Roasted Tomato Soup
Serves four
Adapted from The Bonne Femme Cookbook by Wini Moranville This soup, while intended to be served warm, tasted delicious cold as well. Winnie recommends using low-sodium chicken stock to enrich the soup but I used water, which was just fine. If you have a lot of tomatoes on hand, I would recommend making a big pot of this soup and freezing it for a few months. I didn’t remove they skins but if you want, you can slip them off easily after they’re roasted. But they blitzed away to nothing in the blender. For the salsa, I used chipotle chili powder because I like the smokiness. You’ll have some leftover salsa, which makes a nice dip for tortilla chips. This soup serves four, although there won’t be enough for seconds. It can easily be doubled, tripled, or quadrupled.
For the soup
2 pounds (900g) tomatoes
6 cloves garlic, peeled
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups (500ml) water, or low-sodium chicken stock
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme or savory
1 tablespoon sugar
For the salsa
2 cups (300g) fresh or frozen corn kernels
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small tomato, diced
1 small red onion, diced
1/2 bell pepper, diced
1 small fresh chile, seeded and chopped
1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley or cilantro
generous pinch of ancho or chipotle chili powder
juice of 1 to 2 limes
salt
1. Preheat the oven to 400ºF (200ºC).
2. Cut the tomatoes in half horizontally and squeeze out the seeds. Toss the tomatoes with the olive oil and garlic on a baking sheet, seasoning them with salt and pepper. Turn the tomatoes so they are all cut side down, and bake for 20 to 30 minutes, until the tomatoes are completely soft and beginning to char on the bottoms.
3. Warm the water or stock in a saucepan with the roasted tomatoes, garlic (and any juices on the pan), and thyme or savory. Once warm, simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature, then blend the tomatoes with the water or stock, and the sugar. (At this point, you can chill the tomato soup for up to 2 days.)
4. Make the corn salsa by warming the corn kernels in a skillet with the olive oil until slightly soft, about 2 minutes. (If you have a grill, you can char them there instead.) Scrape the kernels into a bowl and mix in the diced tomatoes, onions and peppers, as well as the chopped chile, parsley, chili powder, the juice of 1 lime, and some salt. Stir together and taste, adding additional lime juice and salt if desired.
5. Warm the soup in a saucepan and divide into bowl, adding a generous heap of the corn salsa in the center. Note that you want to warm the soup pretty well so that the heap of salsa doesn’t cool it down.